MADISON -- After a relatively rainy spring, state officials are thrilled to see an extraordinarily busy long weekend at the beaches. But, that's not good news for everyone.
It was close to being blanket to blanket at Hammonasset State Park Beach Monday. It was not the close quarters that had some a little bit upset, though.Some come to the beach to collect shells.
"I found a lots of them," said one little girl, displaying her finds.
For others, there are less desirable discoveries.
"I collected some silver foil and some plastic rake and a little bit of plastic wrapper," said Pam Martorelli, of New Haven, as she held up a plastic sandwich bag full of trash.
One woman was told by a beach worker state budget cuts have reduced the number of staffers that keep the beaches clean.
"We went to Lighthouse (Point Park) just the other day and the beaches were beautiful and we came here just for a change of pace and we just found that that the water here is pretty bad," said Martorelli.
But, a spokesperson for the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, says staffing this year is the same as it was last year. And, that the excess trash on some state beaches is a result of staff not quite being able to catch up with what the massive weekend crowds may have left behind.
One common theme at all beaches today: patriotism.
"Well, I have my red bikini top and then I have my blue and red nails," said Courtney Swanson of Red Bank, NJ, who was at Silver Sands State Park beach in Milford with a college friend.
"I think people need to focus more on you know the birth of our country, the foundation and the freedom that we have," said Samantha Annuziato of West Haven, who loves 4th of July because it's her sisters birthday.
Domingo Jimenez of New Haven, a native of Puerto Rico. "We are in America!"
While the beach business was brisk today, officials advise those going to state run beaches on Tuesday to arrive early. Gates open at 8 AM.
"We also ask patience if the ticket booths are all full and it's not uncommon to have lines going all the way out to route one even out to the connector piece there," said Bill Mattioli a DEEP Parks Supervisor